We see a ton of bands paying homage to the forefathers of metal and late-’60, early-’70s rock these days. Some can pull it off, some sound like a rip off, and there’s a fine line in between.
Sweden’s The Graviators are one of those bands that can pull it off, and they do in spades. Their earthy tones, rolling bass, piercing vocals, and extended instrumental breaks lend credibility to a bygone era. They sound more like Black Sabbath today than the legendary Black Sabbath does! You can also hear a huge influence from Deep Purple and a bit of The Doors over the 75 minutes of pure stoner/doom epicness contained on Motherload, and there isn’t one track that sounds filler. They take what The Sword have done and multiply it by 10.
“Leif’s Least Breath – Dance Of The Valkyrie” opens up with a massive wall of riffage that sounds like it may have come straight from Sabotage-era Sabbath. Yes, it’s that good! “Narrow Minded Bastards” rolls through with reckless abandon. The bass line is mountainous and rumbles like a freight train. “Bed of Bitches” is pure old school and heavy, and clocking in at just over five minutes, it’s also the shortest song on this album. The guitar solo is crushing and in your face.
“Tigress of Siberia” brings things back to a classic metal intertwined with a psychedelic feel, like you are watching a kaleidoscope on steroids. “Lost Lord” is a slower monster, but no less epic. This 10-plus minute opus contains every element in metal with a slow, building crescendo leading into a brilliant bridge and chorus that really showcase the talent and songwriting ability The Graviators possess. “Druid’s Ritual,” my personal favorite, is an adventure, including everything from the most fragile guitar tones to a mind-bending wall of riffs that will beat you senseless. Clocking in at over 13 minutes, it highlights the ability of the band to be tight and brutal.
Motherload is the most appropriate title I can think for this album. It contains every ounce of metal you could want!
Motherload is out now on Napalm Records.
Rating: 5/5 Stars